Limerick college lecturer was ‘one of the sweetest people you could meet’

Nick Rabbitts

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Nick Rabbitts

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Limerick college lecturer was ‘one of the sweetest people you could meet’

Helen Byrne, who worked for more than 20 years at the Limerick School of Art and Design

WARM tributes have been paid to a Limerick college lecturer, who was described as “one of the sweetest people you could meet”.

There is sadness among students and staff at the Limerick School of Art and Design (Lsad) following the sudden passing of Helen Byrnes.

The mum-of-three had worked at the Clare Street college for more than 20 years. A well-respected academic, Helen also worked at the National Gallery, the National College of Art and Design library and Dublin’s Griffith College.

At Lsad, she fronted the course in critical and contextual studies.

Louise Masterson, a friend of Helen’s since her university days, said: “Helen was lovely. She was one of the sweetest nicest people you could meet. She was very gentle, very kind. She had an infectious laugh. If she laughed, everyone ended up laughing. She was witty. Just lovely.”

Her colleague described her as a very dedicated teacher.

“Helen cared about the students she taught. Really conscientious, someone who wanted to help all the students. She was a really big family person. A lot of us would have kids the same agew as he children. She was dedicated to her family,” Louise said.

In a statement on its Instagram page, Lsad described Helen as “a gentle and woman whose kindness and wit was greatly appreciated by both her students and her workmates.”

Helen taught across all four of the college’s year-groups, carrying out lectures, seminars, tutorials, and one-to-one lessons.

“A lot of the work she would have done would have been with third and fourth years individually, helping them with their self-directed projects. Her second year seminars were focused on contemporary art and design,” Louise explained.

She also recalled how her friend loved the jewellery of Alan Ardiff.

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Helen died unexpectedly at her home in Dublin on April 1.

She is survived by her three girls Lucy, Ava and Holly, and husband Peter.​

She is also very deeply missed by her sister Louise, her mother-in-law, brothers-in-law; nieces, nephews, extended family, relatives and friends.

A private family funeral took place in her home parish in Dublin.

May she rest in peace.